All of us are touched by chronic disease. Conditions, such as diabetes, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s, affect our own health and that of family members, friends, co-workers, and neighbors. Chronic disease is the number one cause of death and disability, and is central to rising health care costs.
Chronic conditions challenge us in terms of lives lost, cut short and diminished; economic hardship for individuals, families and government; reduced productivity in the workplace, and inefficiency and frustration across the health care ecosystem. The toll is high and growing.
Legislators and other public officials are ideally positioned to interpret the rising tide of chronic illness and the leverage a growing body of evidence, strategies, and models to improve public health policies, programs, and practices. The National Foundation for Women Legislators highlighted this issue and potential solution strategies at its recent conference in Minneapolis, where the findings and recommendations of the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) were shared.